Lately there have been ads showing the Ford Focus Electric with the words "Coming Spring 2012." Some are wondering if Ford is pushing back the launch date. As recently as last week Ford confirmed that they are still on track to launch the Focus EV at the end of this year.
I believe the ads are an effort to temper expectations amongst consumers about when they might realistically be able to order the Focus EV. People who buy high end vehicles are accustomed to the idea of waiting for a car. But many who are considering stepping into some sort of electrified car are not accustomed to this notion that you do not just waltz down to the dealer and pickup one whenever you feel like it.
Nissan took a great deal of flack with its reservation system, because once people plunk down their money they get eager to see some action. And GM for its part has done a better job but there was still some dissatisfaction with the ordering process, much of which had to do with long waits between ordering and when the car was actually produced and delivered. Helping to alleviate some of that frustration on the GM side was an independent website that allowed buyers to view exactly where their vehicle was in the process. Ford would do well to replicate this kind of thing, which is a way of communicating with the customer and assuring them that everything is on track as they eagerly anticipate the arrival of their groundbreaking new ride.
Moves by Ford to ratchet back expectations are in order. Looking at Ford's Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FordElectricVehicles
one can already find comments from fans who are very eager to have the car, and whose comments are already laced with some frustration about not having price or availability information. Customers mad because they can't get your car is a good problem to have... for a time.
With any new model there is a slow production ramp up, but with a revolutionary vehicle, with a completely different powertrain, it would be foolish for any manufacturer not to ramp up production very carefully to insure the safety and reliability of the vehicles being produced. Which means most early adopters should realistically be thinking Spring 2012 or even later before they might really have the opportunity to get a Focus EV.
http://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-lat ... pping-out/